Posted by: Kristie | January 13, 2010

Not Made in China

Brett and I had this grand idea for 2010. I do emphasize idea not resolution — because resolutions always seem set up to fail. We thought, let’s try and go a whole year without buying anything made in China. Between recalled toys, low-wage workers and feeling like they are taking over the world one ceramic vase at a time, we thought we’d take a little stand and buy things made in other places, ideally the U.S., but that seems to be an extinct concept these days.

We didn’t get off to a very good start. A couple of days into 2010 I bought two shirts, seeing the sale sign and feeling the soft cotton, I didn’t even think to care where it was made. But we got a free pass on this one — they were made in Guatemala. Glad we didn’t fail right out the gate. So we’re back on track and I set out to find a good pair of snow boots. Holy crapola – do you know how hard it is to buy boots not made in China? And I have a sneaking and quite scary suspicion it’s going to be this way for most shoes. I quickly checked my favorite Privos and there in bold print: Made in China. Nooooo!!!

But I was not deterred, no siree, this is why Google was invented, right? But after scouring and searching the Internet, I learned that Sorel, Canada’s proud winter boot, is no longer made in the Great White North and the oh-so-Australian Uggs? China, China, China. I was becoming so desperate that I was checking out some really ugly, but cheap, vintage Sorels on Ebay from the days when they were actually made in Canada. Then my wonderful mother-in-law came through with a name. LOWA. Never heard them, but turns out they’re sold at a bunch of distributors including one of my faves, Zappos. Established in 1923 in Germany, LOWA takes their manufacturing seriously even including a Corporate Responsibility Statement on their website. Their determination is quite admirable and definitely seem to be an island of integrity in a sea of sellouts. Plus, their boots look like quality, long-lasting footwear – and they were on sale at Zappos! Talk about meant to be. Even on sale, they are a little pricey, but I figure if I’m supporting a company that retains its integrity, then maybe other companies will hear the message and follow suit. But I doubt it because money still talks. Today I went to Sears and saw a Danskin yoga set including mat, ball, strap and DVD for the rock bottom price of $6.99. I grabbed it, bought it right up and practically skipped out of the store excited about my bargain. Oh right, I wonder where it was made. Where do you think?

Oh well, that’s why we’re not calling it a resolution…or maybe we should.



  1. I love your idea ~ I googled “not made in china” and this was one of the first articles. It’s pretty good.

    A year without ‘Made in China’

  2. My in-laws tried to buy a new toilet that was made in America. They were a little annoyed to find that the American Standard brand is, in fact, made in China. Nice, huh? I can’t remember if they found an American made one or not…I’ll get back to you on that one!

  3. I made a similar “resolution”! I am hoping in 2010 that I only purchase clothes and shoes that are either from a resale shop, made from recycled material, and/or from a company that I can research and feel confident that doesn’t use sweat shops. I have not set out to make my list of friendly companies, cause I have had no money to shop yet. 🙂 but when I do I will share info with you!! Good info on those boots! Good luck!

    • Natalie that is awesome! What a great goal. Definitely keep us posted on how things are going and what you end up finding.

  4. […] single one was Made in China. Son of a…the ol’ “not buying things made in China declaration” rears its ugly head. Since we don’t have a house yet, we haven’t been buying […]

  5. Apparently Rieker boots are not made in China… and they are nice – many lined with fleece. I’m on the same snow boot hunt this year. Unless it is under $15, I won’t buy anything made in China. It is very difficult. The saddest for me was receiving Harley Davidson boots last year for Christmas.. made in China.

  6. hello, good on you. I am here in New Zealand trying to find snow boots not made in china. I rarely go shopping these days because everything is made in China. I try not to buy from China as half the labour camp population over there is Falun Dafa practitioners. The group is illegally persecuted over there.

  7. My sister and Brother-in-law have actually been buying ‘Not MAde In China since the mid 90’s- They have even asked that any gifts purchased for them also be Not Made In China! In the beginning I was super challenged, but it was a real eye opener to what has been happening here and all over the world! Traveling in Europe – you see it there too!
    I did find Shearling slippers (like the ones I used to buy from LLBean) made in CO from skins grown not 5 miles from the family’s shop who hand make the slippers. They are called Sundance Leather. They also have sheehskin boots!
    LLBean still makes their gumsoled boots here in Maine!!
    Martino of Montreal Canada- makes there shoes and boots in Montreal

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